When Is The Last Time Your ARES Group Got Called Out?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W0EIB, Nov 28, 2019.

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  1. W0KDT

    W0KDT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm in Minneapolis. I recently re-upped my ham license (extra) partially because of an interest in ARES. I've been a mission pilot with CAP and an Air Ops Branch Director with training through ICS-300. I also volunteer and deploy with Red Cross disaster assistance. I was in Florida for Hurricane Michael last year at this time and saw how infrastructure can be totally wiped off the landscape. I've also heard stories of the same thing in Puerto Rico.

    Back in MN I find something over 500 ARES hams claimed and talk of training at marathons, etc. What I don't see is any real need for hams in MN emergency communication. First, the sort of disasters that happen here are things like tornadoes, spring floods and the occasional flash flood. No hurricanes, no huge fires, etc. IOW, nothing that really threatens to wipe the existing cell infrastructure or the existing statewide ARMER trunked radio system off the map. So other than possibly deploying to a disaster somewhere else in the country, I don't see the need for 500 or the need for me to add one more to the tally.
  2. W5TTW

    W5TTW XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    • Just like the "EMCOM" crowd with their HTs and reflective vests.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2019
    N3AB and AI7PM like this.
  3. N9CJT

    N9CJT Ham Member QRZ Page

  4. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Technology is making ARES and other Amateur radio emergency groups irrelevant. With a very few exceptions, most counties in the United States are implementing state of the art communications systems that have built in redundancy and continuity of operations. For the most part amateurs are not necessary, and in many cases they are viewed as in the way.

    I am not saying that volunteers can't be very helpful in emergencies, just not ham radio operators. If someone want's to volunteer, then join the Red Cross or one of the other disaster relief organizations. They provide all sorts of services and might even have need for a few radio operators, just not very many, even the Red Cross has part 90 communications equipment. But like everything else, as communications technology gets better, more robust, and less expensive, amateur radio is becoming a dinosaur.
    WA5VGO, N3AB and NL7W like this.
  5. KG7LEA

    KG7LEA Ham Member QRZ Page

    You can train to deploy outside your home area. ARRL will be offering certifications that will help identify you to other groups who activate for disasters. Deployment outside your home area carries risk since you will be working with people you do not know, but hams have successfully supported other communities out of state.

    Even if you never activate for a disaster you can be a tremendous help at events like marathons where hams provide an important element of safety. Last summer I supported a medic team at a back country endurance run to chopper out a sick runner. He was eight miles from the nearest road and in the trees. Ham radio saved him. We were there to track runners in and out of aid stations and the rescue was entirely out of plan.

    In other words, do it.
  6. W0KDT

    W0KDT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    No argument, but IMO this is quite rare -- really only where the local comm infrastructure is wiped away. I am a Red Cross disaster relief volunteer and among my specialty ratings is "Disaster Services Tecnology." DST manages and provides the ARC cell phones, computers, handhelds, local and satellite based internet, IP phones, etc. and probably the majority of us are also hams. So that is the first line of defense. I deployed for Michael in the second wave but there were positive stories about hams supporting communications for the first few days. Also lots of stories of hams in Puerto Rico plus ARRL-provided HF go kits of some sort.

    Maybe. But with 500 ARES people in MN already I think they have that kind of local stuff amply covered. I am not negative about this really, but I don't see that there is any reasonably forseeable local disaster need. At least from what I understand so far.
  7. W5TTW

    W5TTW XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Sounds like the medic team and chopper pilot saved him. They're the one's that risked their necks going after some fool participating in a "backwoods endurance run." I'll bet he had to sign a waiver before participating, acknowledging that it was dangerous. But it's ok, someone will put themselves at risk to save him if something happens. Hardly an emergency. More like "asking for it."
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019
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  8. K0UO

    K0UO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Screenshot_2019-11-30-15-16-57.png Screenshot_2019-11-30-15-16-39.png

    For the Greensburg Kansas EF5 tornado May 5 and 6, 2007 which totally destroyed the town. And killing 11 people in Greensburg alone.
    W0MRT Mike and I were just about the first people there. It was an all-nighter where we started doing search and rescue, and then Mike got the local public safety UHF Communications system for the county back up and working.
    After we'd searched all houses about three or four times FEMA arrived on the site, FEMA then kicked us out of the town and totally sealed It Off, we were leaders a CERT team but it didn't make any difference.
    Luckily the local amateur radio repeater that served the area was untouched about 11 miles from the town. Red Cross Saturn group took over Communications, which many of us assisted with.
    I'm still the emergency coordinator for several KS counties but now we don't even have a KS ARRL State emergency manager
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019
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  9. W5TTW

    W5TTW XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Harvey paralyzed the nation's 4th largest metro area. (Houston) 5,000,000 people affected. Public Safety Comms, TV, Radio, Cel Phone and Internet remained intact.

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  10. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

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